Softball Team Led by Standout Sluggers

James Cullinane

Head coach Jim Duffy’s softball team has gotten off to an incredibly hot start to the 2010 season.  With a 13-7 record and a playoff spot in hand, the expectations of this team have been reached and exceeded.  With their excellent play, the Rebels have proven that they have more than enough talent to be in legitimate contention come playoff time.

To most softball fans, a .300 batting average is a number worthy of praise.  However, in Walpole, fans have become accustomed to Duffy’s sluggers going above and beyond this noteworthy benchmark.  Incredible seasons turned in by three Rebel team leaders have been essential to the success of this veteran driven team.  Senior Captains Kellie Duffy and Stephanie Frye have both slugged the ball at an unimaginable rate.  Sophomore catcher Katie Cavaca has been a leader despite her age,  spraying the ball all over the field and calling great games behind the plate. 

This slugging triad has truly accomplished something incredible this season.  All three of these team leaders have a batting average over .500.  To the average softball player, the idea of getting a hit in every other at-bat is inconceivable.  When asked what it takes to hit .500, Frye said ” a lot of hardwork, patience, and to be completely honest, there is definitely luck involved.”  To these Rebels, accomplishing such an unbelievable feature is only a mere duty of leadership, as they continue their treck to the postseason.

If one position on the field requires more leadership qualities than the others, this position is undoubtedly catcher.  A catcher must be intelligent and vocal, while maintaining a good a relationship with their pitchers on the mound.  Cavaca has shown poise beyond her young age and after two seasons as the starting Rebel catcher, has proved to be a piece of the puzzle that is the Rebels future, as they graduate seven seniors in 2010.  After being asked about the pressure of playing catcher, Cavaca said, “I’ve been a catcher my whole life.  Regardless, I’ve learned so much in the last two seasons that at times, I wonder how much I really know.”  Hitting the ball at a .500 batting average as a sophomore shows that Cavaca possesses a nearly endless amount of potential.  Cavaca will have to be an essential member of the Rebels for the next two years in order for Jim Duffy and his Rebels to continue their success on the diamond.

Seniors Duffy and Frye feel an incredible amount of pressure to lead as captains.  This tandem makes up the Walpole middle infield with Frye at shortstop and Duffy at second base.  Playing alongside each other for years, Frye and Duffy have built a great friendship, which translates to their play on the field.  The graduating middle infield has led by example all season, each hitting over .500.  When asked whom she to for advice on the team, Cavaca immediately said, “Steph and Kellie, along with Sam Cametti, have definitely helped me learn the ropes, especially last season.”  The play of Frye and Duffy has been as important to the Rebels playoff clinching record as anything else in the 2010 season. 

The Walpole softball squad has a great mix of youth and experience as they head into the postseason.  This will enable the Rebels to have the opportunity to rebound seamlessly next season after graduating two of the best hitters in the Bay State League.  With the loss of Frye and Duffy, Cavaca will be thrown into the primary leadership role in the next two seasons.  When asked about the importance of Cavaca, Duffy said, “Having varsity experience as a freshman, and now as a sophomore, will be very important in Katie’s development.  There is no doubt in my mind that she is a leader of the future.”  With her amazing potential, it appears that the sky is the limit when it comes to Cavaca’s career with the Rebels. 

These three Rebels have been honored with Bay State All-Star selections, but remain focused on their true goal of going all the way.  When asked how much the All-Star label meant to her, Frye said, “It’s a great honor for all three of us, but our season will be defined by our playoff performance.”  The Rebels will look to continue their slugging into the postseason, in search of a championship.